At a press conference today President Trump said that migrants must "lawfully present themselves" at a port of entry in order to apply for asylum. They will no longer be allowed to apply for asylum after crossing the border illegally.
He also announced an end to "catch-and-release," which allows most illegal border crossers to move freely throughout the country while they await their court hearings. He said that the Army Corps of Engineers will begin constructing tents along the border to increase detention space for illegal border crossers.
The president said the migrants seeking entry from Central American caravans are "not legitimate asylum-seekers" because they refused Mexico’s offer of asylum. He said asylum must be based on a fear of persecution and is not a means to escape "living in poverty."
He warned caravan members not to use violence at the border. Several had reportedly thrown rocks at Mexican police this week. "We will consider [a rock] a firearm…We're not going to put up with that. They want to throw rocks at our military, our military fights back. I told them to consider it a rifle."
President Trump continued, "If these caravans are allowed into our country, only bigger and more emboldened caravans will follow…We will not allow our generosity to be abused by those who would break our laws, defy our rules, violate our borders, break into our country illegally -- we won't allow it. Mass uncontrolled immigration is especially unfair to the many wonderful law-abiding immigrants already living here, who followed the rules and waited their turn."
He will issue a "comprehensive" Executive Order on immigration next week.
Updated: Thu, Nov 15th 2018 @ 6:35pm EST